Category Archives: Bible

The Problem with Reasoned Eclecticism

Codex Vaticanus B, 2Thess. 3,11-18, Hebr. 1,1-2,2Consider the source of the manuscripts being discussed here and the implications that has for the Bibles many people are reading:

via New Testament Textual Criticism:

“The main problem with Reasoned Eclecticism is that, while in theory it gives all the appearance of being governed by sensible and carefully balanced guidelines, in reality there is only one rule: follow the reading of one or two fourth century Alexandrian manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Now, of course, I am exaggerating slightly here. But that there is a problem here is easy to demonstrate.”

“The cumulative effect of the evidence that Royse presents is eye-opening: case after case of obvious scribal blunders in Vaticanus that are still included in the UBS text, some of which are rated as virtual textual certainties by the UBS editors! After seeing Royse’s evidence it is hard to resist the conclusion that the UBS editors have serious problems objectively assessing the merits of the readings of certain favoured manuscripts. It is the systematic presentation of evidence by Royse that proves the point that there is a definite tendency at work: to turn a blind eye to obvious errors when Vaticanus is involved.”

The evidence from scribal habits demands a radical re-evaluation of textual evidence at hundreds of places, not a little tinkering here and there. The reality is that any text that consistently and overwhelmingly prefers shorter readings (like the UBS/NA text) cannot anymore claim to represent the original text of the New Testament. What is required is the reintroduction of hundreds of readings that have been culled from the original New Testament text and relegated to the critical apparatus of the UBS/NA text. This is the reality of what is required to realign NT textual criticism with the research into scribal habits, yet the very thought is unmentionable – anathema – to most textual critics.

“The last problem we shall mention is again a direct result of the first problem – the reduction of NT textual criticism to a one-line creed: follow Codex Vaticanus and its friends. This fourth problem is that Reasoned Eclecticism as currently practiced largely depends upon a belief that in the fourth century there was a complete re-editing of the Greek New Testament that produced the later form of the Greek NT text. To use the language of the man in the street, what this idea means is that in the fourth century of the Christian era, the Greek New Testament was ‘doctored’ by some ecclesiastical authorities (some suggest Lucian of Antioch was responsible) to produce the Byzantine text which largely dominated the middle ages. Westcott and Hort used the idea of a Lucianic Recension to (conveniently) dispose of 95% of the Greek manuscript evidence (the Byzantine text) as having sprung from the corrupting influence of this 4th Century re-editing process. At a stroke, the numerical preponderance of the Byzantine evidence was dismissed as having sprung from one (late) edited manuscript. As a result, they were left with two early streams of manuscript evidence – the Alexandrian uncials and the Western evidence (headed by Codex Bezae, easily the most bizarre text of the NT).  Westcott and Hort chose the Alexandrian uncials, headed by Vaticanus. The Lucianic Recension was the foundation stone of Westcott and Hort’s textual theory; their history of the text underpinned  everything else they believed.”

“Hear the conclusion of the matter: Reasoned Eclecticism, as exemplified in the current critical text, is a swindle. It is neither truly eclectic, nor fair and reasonable in its treatment of internal evidence, nor willing to adapt to incoming research. The internal arguments marshalled in the UBS commentary are a sideshow, a smokescreen intended to distract the reader from the real process which determines the text: following what Codex Vaticanus reads. Reasoned Eclecticism is unable or unwilling to abandon ‘the mirage of Vaticanus infallibility’ (Gunter Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, p217).”

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Further thoughts from Steve Rafalsky on Vaticanus:

“Vaticanus has been in the Vatican Library at least since 1481, when it was catalogued. Those with some historical knowledge will remember that these were the years of the Inquisition in Spain during the reign of Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484). In 1481 some 2,000 believers dissenting with Rome were burned alive, with multitudes of others tortured (M’Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p. 104). When Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) sat in the royal “Throne of Peter,” he followed in the vein of his namesake Innocent III and commenced anew a persecution against the peaceful Waldensian Christians in the northern Italian Alps, commanding their destruction “like venomous snakes” if they would not repent and turn to Rome (Wylie, History of the Waldenses, pp. 27-29). Bloodbaths followed against these harmless mountain peoples, who had their own Scriptures from ancient times, and worshipped in Biblical simplicity and order.

It perplexes many that the Lord of these many hundreds of thousands of Bible-believing saints who were tortured with unimaginable barbarity and slaughtered like dogs by the Roman Catholic “church” for centuries (it is no exaggeration to say for over a millennium) should have kept His choicest preserved manuscript in the safekeeping of the Library of the apostate murderers, designating it by their own ignominious name: Vaticanus.

It is surely an anomaly to the Reformed mind when they consider that the so-called “Queen of the manuscripts” was in the treasures and under the care of the antichrist, and given to the world to – in effect – undermine the text and sola Scriptura doctrine of the Reformation, in the name of “modern textual criticism”. All this fancy footwork of argumentation, all this scorn and dismissal of the Authorized Version, well, you can have it. I will hold fast to the old paths.”

Source:, Comment #76

The Authorized Guy Responds to James White on the Ecclesiastical Text

A discussion of this video can be found here:

The Textus Receptus and Mark 16:9-20

via James Japan (TFI) on Mark 16:9-20 and the footnote, “these verses are not in the oldest, best, most reliable Greek manuscripts”:

Mark16-BOf the approximately 3,119 Greek manuscripts of the NT extant today, none is complete. The segment of text bearing Mark 16 has been lost from many, but over 1,800 contain the section and verses 9-20 are present in all but the 3 cited above. The footnote is thus unveiled and laid bare as dishonest and deliberately misleading in intimating that these verses are not the Word of God. The external evidence is massive. Not only is the Greek manuscript attestation ratio over 600 to 1 in support of the verses (1,800 to 3 =99.99%) – all but one of the approximately 8,000 extant Latin mss, all but one of the approximately 1,000 Syriac versions as well as all the over 2,000 known Greek Lectionaries contain the verses. Mark 16:9-20 were cited by Church “Fathers” who lived 150 years or more before Vaticanus B or Sinaiticus Aleph were written: Papias (c.100), Justin Martyr (c.150), Irenaeus (c.180), Tertullian (c.195), and Hippolytus (c.200; see: John Burgon, The Revision Revised, London: John Murray Pub, 1883, pp.422-423)…

…Erasmus was well aware of Vaticanus B and its variant readings in 1515 AD at which time he was preparing the New Testament Greek text. Because they read so differently from the vast majority of the approximately 200 mss he had already examined, Erasmus considered such readings spurious. For example, Vaticanus B leaves out “Mystery Babylon the Great”, “the seven heads that are the seven mountains upon which the harlot (the apostate religious system that began at Babel of which the Roman church is a part) sits”, and leaves out “the woman which is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” which has seven mountains. All of this may be found in Revelation 17.

[emphasis in original post]


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Note: The author of James Japan belongs to The Family International but holds to a Protestant Historicist understanding of eschatology

Modern Bibles Supporting Catholic Doctrine

Via James Japan:

Gospel of Mary“Author David W. Daniels points out in his book, Why They Changed the Bible, how all modern Bibles are increasingly slanted to support Rome’s pagan dogmas. An entire section is devoted to the scheme to include the Apocrypha in the Bible. He describes how the Bible societies were, from the beginning, infiltrated with Jesuits or Vatican sympathizers. Bible societies agreed not only to change text wording to favor unbiblical Catholic teaching, but to add in the Apocrypha whenever requested. Bible translators all over the world are subject to a 1960s agreement with the Vatican to add the Apocrypha to any translation if the Catholic people groups ask for it. The history and tragic results of this are detailed in Why They Changed the Bible.”

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Note: The author of this site belongs to The Family International but holds to a Protestant Historicist understanding of eschatology

Concerns About the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

"Тывалап чугаалажыылыңар". Чурук 15

The Sound of an Alarm has been highlighting some concerns with the new Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible.

In particular, it appears that some of the Bible’s notes appear to promote doctrinal error as well as Catholic doctrine.

Some of the issues raised with the notes and the Bible are as follows:

Please note that Dr. Beeke has addressed some of these criticisms as per The Sound of an Alarm:

To read more about what The Sound of an Alarm has posted on this topic, please visit this link:

The Boy That Drives the Plough

Rudolf Koller 001“I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!”

~ William Tyndale


The grand lever which overthrew the Pope’s power

(J.C. Ryle, “Practical Religion” 1878)

Sunrise Tharandt Forstgarten 2005 01 05 P1The history of the middle ages is one of ignorance and superstition! Darkness covered the whole professing Church — even a darkness that might be felt. The doctrines of the Gospel lay buried under a dense mass of human traditions!
saint-worship, and
worship of the Virgin Mary
— formed the sum and substance of most people’s religion!
The church was made an idol!
The priests usurped the place of Christ!

And by what means was all this miserable darkness cleared away? The grand lever which overthrew the Pope’s power, was the translation of the Bible into the native languages!

By the reading of the Bible, the public mind became gradually pervaded with the principles of true religion.
Men’s eyes became thoroughly open.
Their spiritual understandings became thoroughly enlarged.
The abominations of popery became distinctly visible.
The excellence of the pure Gospel became a rooted idea in their hearts.
It was then in vain for Popes to thunder forth excommunications. It was then useless for Kings to attempt to stop the course of Protestantism by fire and sword. It was all too late! The people knew too much! They had seen the light. They had heard the joyful sound. They had tasted the truth. The sun had risen on their minds. The scales had fallen from their eyes. The Bible had done its appointed work within them — and that work was not to be overthrown. The clock could not be turned back. A mental and moral revolution had been effected by God’s Word!

Incremental, Barely Discernable Change

Basilique Saint-Pierre Vatican domeFrom a discussion of the Galileo affair:

It is a matter of historical record that additions or deletions to Roman church doctrine are carefully executed over several generations, the changes being thus less noticeable than if made quickly.

~ Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, Expanded & Updated Sixth Edition, page 25

It seems to me that a similar thing has been going on with certain modern English Bible translations, only in those cases, the changes seem to be happening more and more frequently.

Interconfessional. Ecumenical. Global. Religion.

I know this is not a popular position to take, but my research keeps leading me to the same conclusion, and that is this:


“I have a copy of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition right here in front of me. It is the same Greek text as the UBS (United Bible Society) 4th edition. These are the Greek readings and texts that are followed by such modern versions as the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard AND the new Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985.

 If you have a copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, open the book and read what they tell us in their own words on page 45 of the Introduction. Here these critical Greek text editors tell us about how the Greek New Testament (GNT, now known as the UBS) and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece grew together and shared the same basic text. In the last paragraph on page 45 we read these words:

“The text shared by these two editions was adopted internationally by Bible Societies, and FOLLOWING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT HAS SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR NEW TRANSLATIONS AND FOR REVISIONS MADE UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. THIS MARKS A SIGNIFICANT STIP WITH REGARD TO INTERCONFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. It should naturally be understood that this text is a working text: it is not to be considered as definitive, but as a stimulus to further efforts toward defining and verifying the text of the New Testament.”

There it is folks, in their own words. They openly admit that this text is the result of an agreement between the Vatican and the UBS and that the text itself is not “definitive” – it can change, as it already has and will do so in the future, and is not the infallible words of God but merely “a stimulus to further efforts”.” 

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Part 1:

Part 2:

Rome’s Long War on the Bible (and God’s People)

1128054_83020496BANNEDIt’s long been my belief that the church of Rome reluctantly gives the Bible mere lip service, and if the truth were known, they are quite able to function and exist without the word of God.

“The Church, then, affirms that all Scripture is the word of God, but at the same time it maintains that there is an unwritten word of God OVER and ABOVE Scripture” (1, p. 78.)

The following four points need to be made:

  1. Whenever official Catholic publications use the word Christian, they actually mean Catholic.
  2. Whenever they use the word church, they mean the Catholic church.
  3. Whenever they speak about the Bible, they mean the apocrypha also.
  4. Whenever they speak of the unwritten word, they mean oral tradition also.

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